There was the soft pitter-patter of dew as it journeyed its way down the trees, the gentle creaking of the moisture rich trees as they swayed in the breeze, and the soft rustle of the leaves. My wet boots sunk into the soft undergrowth and crunched along as I trundled through the forest. The clicks of my camera echoed in the stillness of the forest.
The stillness was only broken by the sound of a pair of carbureted Nissan inline six engines. Those were not sounds that polluted the tranquil afternoon in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in Northern California, but rather, they were sounds that felt right among the tall green trees. The combination of nature and vintage cars always somehow worked.
On the last week of December and on my last shoot of the 2010, I spent my time with the two Fatlace Skylines: a white Hakosuka owned by Fatlace founder, Mark Arcenal, and a 2000GT fastback owned by the Fatlace director of operations, Felix Marcelino.
We started our day by meeting at the Fatlace Paddock in San Mateo and headed off to the Santa Cruz mountains from there. It was a rather brisk, but sunny, day in Northern California. And as we climbed into the mountains and closer to the ocean, the fog started to creep in and the forest enveloped us.
I spent my time with focusing on Mark's Hakosuka first.
Mark wanted to simplify the looks of his Skyline so he eliminated the front and rear bumpers, slammed the car on a set of Eibach Ground Control coil overs…
…and removed the front grill and the chrome housing around the rear tail lights.
Mark wanted to run some pretty aggressive wheels so a set of Victory 50 front and rear fenders was installed.
And the aggressive wheels in question? Volk Racing TE37V. 15×9.5 -20 in the front and 15×10 -25 with a 20mm spacer in the rear.
A bit of Bosozuko style was added with the addition of the front bumper mounted oil cooler. The oil cooler is actually plugged in and works!
The engine was as stock as can be. Mark hasn't touched the original carbureted L2 inline-six other than some basic maintenance to keep an old car running.
The interior is pretty much factory but Mark has decked it out slightly with bit of Mooneyes flare.
The shift knob is Mooneyes…
…as well as the all the floor mats.
The interior looks immaculate. The leather looks to be in excellent condition still as well as the side panels and ceiling!
Note the fire extinguisher. With an old car that's running on carburetors, it's always best to be prepared in case any fires suddenly erupt.
It's rare to see a Hakosuka this low. The only other time I've seen one this low was when I was speedhunting the TAS Parking lot.
I do have to say, the removal of the bumpers and front grill give the car a clean, yet menacing look. I like it.
With my look at Mark's Hakosuka finished, I then focused on Felix's "Kenmeri" 2000GT.
Felix's decided that he wanted to make his 2000GT into a GTR clone. It has the bodykit and badges of the GT-R, but of course, not the GTR motor.
Like Mark's Hakosuka, Felix's 2000GT's engine is completely bone stock.
Felix GT-R'd the 2000GT out with a set of GTR style front and rear over fenders…
…GT-R Front lip & rear spoiler, and a GT-R Front Grill. The end result looks good and is very convincing.
The car is lowered on Tokoshima suspension and Kameari-Street shocks.
Felix went for the classic look with a set of Watanabe RS wheels. The fronts are 14X9" with a 195/60R14 tire, and the rear measures at 14X10" with a 215/60R14 tire.
Like Mark's Hakosuka, Felix's 2000GT's interior is immaculate. The only change to the interior was the steering wheel. Felix swapped out the factory 2000GT wheel for a GTR wheel.
Wooden shift knobs, they just don't make cars like they used to….
These back seats look really comfortable to sit in. I mean, why wouldn't you want to sit in the back of an old school Skyline, right?
Mark opted not to change his exhaust where Felix went for a Magnaflow muffler & custom exhaust. The result is an amplified inline six that is quite satisfying.
During the shoot, Mark noted that the location was almost like being in mountain roads in Japan.
The Santa Cruz Mountains proved to be a perfect spot for these two classics.
They almost look like they're at home parked in the forest don't they?
While we were fantasizing about shooting these two Skylines in the mountains of Japan, we were snapped back into reality finding of this: a banana slug. These bright yellow slugs are native to the Pacific west coast and can grow up to 9 inches long! Luckily, this guy was only about 5 inches.
It is also the first banana slug Mark has ever seen. Isn't it cute?
Before we knew it, the light started to fade, coldness started to sink in, and Mark was creeped out from the banana slug. It was time to head back to reality. But during the drive back in my E30, I couldn't help but think back about the previous few hours I spent with two Skylines and the location we found to shoot them at.
It was the perfect location for two perfect cars.
Now, here's the important question: Would you like to own a 1974 Nissan Skyline 2000GT? Now you're chance. Head over to the link below for details.
Complete Spec List:
Mark Arcenal's 1972 Skyline GT2000 "Hakosuka"
- Bumper delete
- Removed the grill and the Chrome housing around the rear tail lights.
- Victory 50 Front/Rear fenders
Wheel and Tires:
- Volk Racing TE37V 15×9.5 -20 / 15×10 -25 w/ 20mm spacer (-45)
- Toyo Tires
- Eibach Ground Control Coilovers
Felix Marcelino's 1974 Nissan Skyline GT-R clone "Ken and Mary"
- OEM Skyline "GTR" Steering Wheel
- GT-R Style Front and Rear Over Fenders
- GT-R Front lip & rear spoiler
- GT-R Front Grill
- Magnaflow Muffler & Custom Exhaust
Wheel and Tires:
- Watanabe RS Wheels Front 14"X9" 195/60R14
- Watanabe RS Wheels Rear 14"X10" 215/60R14
- TOYOSHIMA Lowered suspension
- KAMEARI-STREET Shocks